Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Daily Inspiration...

photo by James Armer

Never looking back, or too far in front of me. The present is a gift and I just wanna be.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Complete at-home facial

A day at the spa is an indulgence that we don’t always have time for, but, luckily we can recreate a spa facial in our own homes. The five basic components of a facial are: cleansing, exfoliation, steam, mask and moisture.

Step 1

Clean face using oil cleansing method or method of choice.

Step 2

Exfoliate with your homemade exfoliant or exfoliant of choice. Do not splash face with cold water after exfoliating if you are proceeding to step 3.

Step 3

To perform steam treatment, first bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and pour water into a large heat safe bowl. Add any of the following herbs or essential oils to the water. Sit down and lean over the bowl with a large towel over your head. Exercise extreme caution when handling hot water. Relax, breathe deep and remain over the bowl for ten minutes while the steam opens your pores. If you get too hot at any point lift the towel.

Step 4

Gently rub face mask of choice into face and neck. Let mask sit for 10 minutes or until prescribed. Rinse with warm water until all traces of mask have been removed. Do a final rinse with cool water to close pores.

Step 5

Moisturize with moisturizer of choice. Apply moisturizer while face is still slightly damp in order to seal in the moisture. You can simply seal the moisture in with a light oil of choice.

A complete facial can be enjoyed once a month for healthier, more youthful, glowing skin.


Mask Your Skin

Face masks are a wonderful indulgence that should be enjoyed when you need some "me" time or when your skin needs an extra boost. This article from Associated Content explains the importance of facials and gives step by step instructions to make your own mask at home.


Daily Inspiration...

photo by James Armer

Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.

-Deepak Chopra

Black Beauty

So, I discovered a quick pimple fix this morning in my bathroom (thanks to a red, glowing pimple on my nose). I remembered making a paste of activated charcoal and water for an itchy,
swollen mosquito bite this summer. Within thirty minutes of applying the paste, the bite was flat
and the itchiness was gone.

Because of its absorptive properties, charcoal has been used effectively to treat many things including snake bites and diarrhea. (do not substitute this information for proper medical diagnosis or treatment)
I figured, if charcoal can absorb the poison from a snake bite and can flatten a mile high mosquito bite, it could probably take down a pimple.

I emptied the contents of one activated charcoal capsule and mixed it with enough aloe
vera gel to make a paste. I applied a dab of the paste directly onto the cleaned pimple. Once the paste dried i gently flaked it off (you could wash it) and the pimple had flattened considerably and the redness was gone. I reapplied the paste once more and by the time it dried again the pimple was virtually non-existent.

This means good-bye to expensive, harsh, chemical laden blemish cream and hello to blemish-free skin!

For more information about charcoal visit http://healingtools.tripod.com/thn5.html


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Daily Inspiration

photo by James Armer

Cultivate harmony within yourself, and harmony becomes real;

Cultivate harmony within your family, and harmony becomes fertile;
Cultivate harmony within your community, and harmony becomes abundant;
Cultivate harmony within your culture, and harmony becomes enduring;
Cultivate harmony within the world, and harmony becomes ubiquitous.

Live with a person to understand that person;
Live with a family to understand that family;
Live with a community to understand that community;
Live with a culture to understand that culture;
Live with the world to understand the world.

How can I live with the world?
By accepting.

-Lao Tzu
from the tao te ching

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

One of the pillars of any effective beauty regimens is sleep. Sleep gives our bodies and minds a chance to heal and to be restored. I recently read an interesting article by Marcus Ryan that espouses the benefits of sleep for our faces and our bodies. In the article Ryan states that,

"Getting a good night sleep is key to keeping your skin keep its youthful appearance. Thus, it's earned the name beauty sleep. Beautiful skin is where beauty begins and a youthful appearance is what every woman wants."

Even more importantly, he goes on to say, "beauty sleep will do more than just give you a youthful appearance, it will reduce your risk of important health problems, such as heart problems too."

Now that you know that beauty sleep isn't just for a youthful appearance, you should make sure that it's a priority and that you get enough sleep. So go for it and get your beauty sleep and get the health benefits at the same time!

photo source:http://www.uncrate.com/men/images/west-elm-low-platform-bed.jpg

Daily Inspiration...

photo by James Armer

“this is my life. it is my one time to be me. i want to experience every good thing.”

-Maya Angelou

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Quote of the Day...

photo by James Armer

Ever since happiness heard your name,it has been running through the streets trying to find you.


Dr. Oz Green Drink

Want to eat more green veggies and incorporate more raw food into your diet? Oprah's trusted M.D., Dr. Oz shared his recipe for a healthy green drink packed with nutrients and living goodness. Manja!
Dr. Oz Green Drink Recipe

2 apples, cored
2 big handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 celery stick, chopped
1 thumbnail length of ginger root, peeled
1 lemon - juice only (use peel slice for zest)
1 medium cucumber

Place ingredients in a blender, add 4 oz. spring water or a handful of ice cubes, then puree quickly for one minute. Makes two glasses of Dr. Oz’s green drink.

The green drink has a strong taste and if you are used to drinking soda or sweet tea, the taste will take some getting used to. Dr. Oz suggests adding other items at first to sweeten the green drink to your taste.

Green drink - Optional ingredients:
2nd cucumber
raw carrot
unsweetened fruit juice

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dairy Good...

Milk is one of the most gentle yet effective cleansers nature has to offer. It is safe and effective to use as a daily facial cleanser for morning and night. Mix 1/2 a cup of cold milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the mixture well and pat gently onto your face and neck with a cotton ball or soft white towel/cloth. Leave the mixture on your face for 2-3 minutes. Apply again and gently rub in small circular motions. Finally, rinse your face and moisturize with your favorite moisturizer.


cleanser hydrates, soothes and exfoliates. It is suitable for all skin types.


Scent sense...

I love the ritual of spraying on a light, beautiful body spray after a shower. There are few more refreshing moments during the day.

We all love to smell good and scent can transform our mood. Certain scents can also have an affect on our health and well being. Essential oils have been used for years in aromatherapy. Oils such as grapefruit are said to contribute to weight loss and lavender is soothing and relaxing while peppermint is invigorating and revitalizing.

Making your own signature scent with essential oils couldn't be easier. Simply add ten to fifteen drops of your favorite oil to every one ounce of distilled water in a small spray bottle. Shake well each time before you spray. This body spray is all natural with no additives or synthetic chemical fragrances. It can also be used as a room mist. Here are just a few oils you can customize your body spray with:

  • lemon- uplifting and energizing

  • lavender- calming and soothing

  • rosemary- stimulates memory

  • grapefruit- uplifting, aids weight loss, confidence

  • peppermint- invigorating and revitalizing

  • chamomile- peaceful and relaxing

  • orange- relieves tension, lifts mood

  • franckincense- excellent for skin, calming

Note: Essential oils are very strong. Be sure to dilute oils with water before applying to skin to prevent irritation.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Homemade Facial Exfoliant

photo by Jane Hian

Exfoliating sloughs off dead skin and clears the pores of dirt and debris leaving you with youthful, glowing skin. It is an essential part of a skincare routine. which should be performed once a week. Homemade facial exfoliants are extremely cheap and easy to make. To make a basic exfoliant you will need an exfoliating (abrasive) ingredient and a base ingredient.


corn meal

corn flour


kosher salt

ground almonds

steel cut oats


oil i.e., olive, almond, apricot kernel, coconut

egg white- good for toning and tightening

pureed fruit, i.e., berries, cucumber,tomato- acid refines skin

smoothes and refreshes

milk-smooths and refreshes


honey-for moisture and antiseptic property

glycerin-for moisture

To make
exfoliant combine 1 part exfoliant, 1 part base and 1/4 part additional ingredient if desired. Chill if desired for a refreshing effect. Pat mixture onto face and neck and rub gently with small circular motions. Leave exfoliant on skin for five more minutes. Rinse with warm water until all traces of exfoliant have been removed. Do a final rinse of cool water and finally, moisturize.


Simple Lip Balm

Recipe featured on makeyourowncosmetics.com


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax
1 vitamin E capsule (400 mg)

Blending Procedure:

Place grated beeswax (or beeswax beads) into a heat proof cup. Add olive oil and liquid from the vitamin E capsule.

Place the heat proof cup into a hot water bath until the beeswax is nearly melted. Remove from heat.

Pour into suitable screw top or other lip balm containers. Allow to solidify and cool before using.

Enjoy and tell your friends!

submitted by Kena

Simple Makeup

This excerpt from Doctor Hulda Clark's 1995 book The Cure for All Diseases gives step-by-step directions to make your own cosmetics. While I have not tried these yet, I have used beet powder as a blush with success.


Eye liner and Eyebrow Pencil

Get a pure charcoal pencil (black only) at an art supply store. Try several on yourself (bring a small mirror) in the store to see what hardness suits you. You may need to wet it with water or a vitamin E perle first. Don't put any chemicals on your eyelids, since this penetrates into your eye. To check this out for yourself, close your eye tightly and then dab lemon juice on your eyelid. It will soon burn! Everything that is put on skin penetrates. Otherwise the nicotine patch and estrogen patch wouldn't work. Not even soap belongs on your eyelids! Charcoal pencils are cheap. Get yourself half a dozen different kinds so you can do different things.
You could also use a capsule of activated charcoal. Empty it into a saucer. Mix glycerin and water, half and half, and add it to the charcoal powder until you get the consistency you like. Use a brush for eyelashes; use a finger for eyebrows.


Beet root powder100% vegetable glycerin
Combine 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin and 1 tsp. beet root powder in a saucer. Stir until perfectly smooth. Then add 1/2 tsp. of
vitamin oil. Snip open vitamin E capsules or buy vitamin E oil. Very thick olive oil can be substituted. Apply liberally with your finger or a lipstick brush. Do not purse or rub your lips together after application. To make the lipstick stay on longer, apply 1 layer of lipstick, then dab some cornstarch over the lips, then apply another layer of lipstick. Store in a small glass or plastic container in the refrigerator, tightly covered in a plastic bag.

Face Powder

Use cornstarch from the original box. You may also try arrow root starch or potato starch. Use your fingers or a tissue to apply because applicators can carry bacteria.

Blush (face powder in a cake form)

Add 50% glycerin to cornstarch in a saucer to make paste. Slowly add beet root powder to the desired color. Use part of a charcoal capsule to darken it, if desired. A drop of food grade alcohol will also darken it. To make 50% glycerin, add equal parts of glycerin and water. Try to make the consistency the same as your brand name product, and you can even put it back in your brand name container.

Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion

For years, before I realized how hazardous parabens are, I was addicted to the scent of baby lotion. We are all familiar with the pink "baby" scented lotion that honestly smells really great. Giving up baby lotion was a major blow, but one I had to take. Until now, I hadn't discovered another lotion that captured the characteristic "baby" smell and passed my safety test.

I don't know why I didn't find it sooner, but, Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion passes both tests. One sniff of the light, creamy lotion and I forgot all about the pink stuff. Baby Bee Buttermilk has a clean, light, sweet, but -not-too-sweet, scent that can melt anyone.

Check out Baby Bee Buttermilk at burtsbees.com.


Basic Body Scrub

We all love smooth skin and exfoliation is essential to achieve silky, baby soft skin. There are many commercial exfoliants available, but many of them are pricey or contain additives. It is amazingly easy to make your own exfoliants for a fraction of the retail price. With the holiday season fast approaching, a beautifully packaged, scented, homemade body scrub is a great gift idea.

This recipe from prairielandherbs.com makes a simple yet highly effective body scrub.


1 part salt or sugar

1 part oil

For the salt or sugar: sea salt or raw sugar are best, but you can definitely use plain table salt, white sugar, or brown sugar too.

For the oil: use any mild, unscented vegetable oil - olive, sunflower, safflower, sweet almond, etc. Herbally infused oils work wonderfully too.

Mix ingredients together and scrub onto damp skin; rinse off and pat dry with a towel.

Optional additions: honey, dried or fresh herbs or flower petals, oats, essential oils or fragrance oils.

Note: Sugar scrubs tend to be more mild and less drying than salt scrubs.


Sunday, November 4, 2007


It is every woman's inalienable right to

have a pulled-together stylish, confident

wardrobe with money left over to live.


This is the manifesto for the new clothing line Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker. SJP's new line of clothing, shoes and accessories debuted at stores around the country this year. The launch of the former Sex and the City star's line is something we at purebeauty are very excited about.
The clothes are very smart, relaxed and contemporary cute.

My favorites for this winter are the basic pea coat in white, the twill trenchcoat in desert sand, the striped mittens and the suspender wide leg trouser in classic black. The line also features a delicious selection of intimate apparel which include a pair of boxer briefs very similar to those we've seen on SJP's Sex and the City alter-ego, Carrie Bradshaw. And amazingly, every piece in the collection, which is available online at http://bittensjp.com/index.php and nationwide at Steve & Barry's stores, is priced at $19.98 or less. Yes, everything is $19.98 or less including the cashmere sweaters. We love this.

We love that women can get quality clothing that they will want to wear and feel confident and stylish in without breaking the bank. This line of clothes is not about trying to project a false image of wealth or status by spending all of your money or spending money you don't have. Bitten takes the pretense out of looking good and that is beautiful.

Here at purebeauty we love Bitten and we love Sarah Jessica Parker even more. SJP is undoubtedly talented, smart and beautiful even if some publications aren't bright enough to see it.


Flower Color Lipstick

I am always on the look out for beauty products that help me look good and put my mind at ease. This weekend I picked up a tube of Ecco Bella Flower Color lipstick in Chocolate Kiss. This may be the best lipstick I have ever tried. It goes on smooth without being greasy. The color is the perfect not to dark/not to red shade of natural brown. The lipstick is not completely opaque so your natural lip color comes through just enough to keep it natural looking.

The Flower Color lipstick sells for $14.95 at eccobella.com and comes in 14 different shades from almond to Napa grape. The site also features a complete line of cosmetics and personal care.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Raw Beauty

If you are like me at all, you love food, and this menu from Pure Food and Wine in New York City looks like it could satisfy even my appetite. With lots of exotic sounding ingredients and names, you just assume that someone spent a huge chunk of their day slaving over a hot stove so you could enjoy a delicious meal. But there's just one catch, there is no stove at Pure Food and Wine, originally the restaurant love-child of Sarma Melngailis and ex-partner Matthew Kenney. The food at Pure Food and Wine is raw.
Now, you might wonder why anybody would pay someone to not cook their food. But, you might be surprised to know that alot of people would and do. The popularity of raw restaurants is increasing as more people become aware of the countless benefits of eating live foods. The following article from healingdaily.com give us a few reasons why so many believe that eating raw food is a much healthier choice than consuming cooked foods.

-Raw foods are rich in enzymes. Enzymes are needed for the digestive system to work. They are necessary to break down food particles so they can be utilized for energy. The human body makes approximately 22 different digestive enzymes which are capable of digesting carbohydrates, protein and fats. Raw vegetables and raw fruit are rich sources of enzymes.The enzymes in raw foods are destroyed by heat.-

-Most raw food, like our bodies, is very perishable. When raw foods are exposed to temperatures above 118 degrees, they start to rapidly break down, just as our bodies would if we had a fever that high. One of the constituents of foods which can break down are enzymes. Enzymes help us digest our food. Enzymes are proteins though, and they have a very specific 3-dimensional structure in space. Once they are heated much above 118 degrees, this structure can change.
Once enzymes are exposed to heat, they are no longer able to provide the function for which they were designed. Cooked foods contribute to chronic illness, because their enzyme content is damaged and thus requires us to make our own enzymes to process the food. The digestion of cooked food uses valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest your food. Digestion of cooked food demands much more energy than the digestion of raw food. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in 1/2 to 1/3 of the time it takes for cooked food. -

So , what exactly does this article have to do with the pursuit of beauty. Obviously, a healthy body is a goal we all want to attain and eating live, raw food gets us one step closer to that reality. But there is something else, that special radiance that comes with being vibrant and in tune. Some call it the raw "glow." What is the glow? For me, the glow is clear skin, bright eyes and an energetic radiance.

One look at the before and afters of raw foodies and you will know what that glow looks like. For a gallery of before and afters visit welikeitraw.com.

The good thing about the glow is that you don't have to be one hundred percent raw to start getting it. Making tweaks your diet here and there will yield tremendous results. Adding a couple of large salads every day and eating fresh fruit instead of canned is a great start. There are countless number of delicious raw recipes available. Recipes can be found on this and other internet sites. There are also many beautiful raw "cook" books such as Raw the Un-cookbook by Juliano, Raw Food/ Real World 100 Recipes to Get the Glow by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis and Eating in the Raw by Carol Alt.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Buyer Beware...

Buyer beware of so-called natural products. I'm sure you've seen the shelves of products at your local drugstore or grocer that claim "natural" status. Because of growing awareness, many consumers know enough to know that they should be looking for natural or organic products, but the beauty and food industries are taking advantage of the fact that most people don't even know what natural really is. Unfortunately, many companies are adding plant essences or one or two herbal ingredients to their chemical cocktails and passing them off as natural. Even sadder is that some companies with reputations as natural health personal care companies are using ingredients such as parabens that are antithetical to health by all accounts. While we should applaud some of these companies for trying to do better, we should not blindly trust them. Just because a product claims to be "natural" or because you can find it in a health food store, does not make it safe.

If you are concerned about certain additives or ingredients read the label every time and research ingredients you are not familiar with. If there is a product with less than healthy ingredients you feel you just can't live without or aren't ready to give up yet, don't. And don't feel bad about it. Simply having the knowledge lets you make an informed decision.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Berry Beautiful

Strawberries make a perfect treat. They are full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants (the beautiful red color is a giveaway to the antioxidant power). More importantly, they are delicious and maybe even decadent if you prefer them dipped in rich dark chocolate...

Okay, I'm off track. Strawberries are one of my favorite beauty treatments. It's is oh so simple, yet very effective for mild blemishes or spot pimple treatments (those with severe or deep acne require a more holistic treatment) .

Clean your face with a mild cleaner or oil of your choice. Mash a couple of strawberries well. Proceed to smooth the mashed berries all over your face and neck. Leave the mask on while you do chores or overnight. You may feel a mild tingling after a minute or so. In the morning, rinse your face and moisturize. This treatment will leave you with refreshed, smoother skin.

How does it work? According to Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty for All Seasons, strawberries make an excellent skin-softening facial mask. A member of the rose family, strawberries contain salicyclic acid, which rids the skin of dead cells, allowing it to absorb moisture more efficiently. Strawberries also have a mild bleaching effect on the skin and help heal blemishes.

This treatment has been part of my beauty arsenal for years and it has never let me down.
It just doesn't get any more natural than this.


Please do a small patch test behind your ear before trying this treatment.
Do not continue this treatment if you experience discomfort.

Not so sweet...

So I have introduced you to a few things that we should be putting in and on our bodies on our journey towards pure beauty. Now I'm gonna give you the really ugly stuff. The stuff, we shouldn't go near with a ten foot pole or should I say, spoon?

We all know that refined, processed, white sugar isn't health food, but I don't think most of know just how detrimental it is to our health and our beauty. It doesn't just pack on unhealthy pounds and rot our teeth(as if that's not bad enough). Sugar ages us and affects our mental state among a whole host of other really bad things.

Suggested reading:

76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health by Nancy Appleton, Ph.DAuthor of the book Lick The Sugar Habit.

Oil Cleansing

I recently tried the oil cleansing method which can be found at http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/ . Oil cleansing just might prove to be one of the most beneficial, revolutionary, wow, beauty "secrets" I have ever come across. You might think that I'm being a little overzealous about this, but I am simply amazed. I have generally "good" skin. It is relatively problem free and when I drink plenty of water, and eat well some even say it glows. I have a simple routine of washing and moisturizing (with whatever oil or lotion I have on hand). Well, I have already tried "washing" my hair in oil, but for some reason it never occurred to me to use the technique on my face. I'm so glad I did.

I chose to use almond oil because it is fairly light and I had some on hand. Following the instructions in the oil cleansing article, I gently massaged the oil into my skin. The massage itself was very nice, like a mini facial. At this point, I could already tell this "secret" was going to change my skincare routine forever. I wet a white towel with hot water from the tap and proceeded to alternate gently wiping my face in a circular motion with rewetting the towel until the surface oil was removed from my skin(about 30 seconds total). And, as usual, I splashed my face with cold water to close the pores.

Initially, my skin felt clean and refreshed, and the massage, the massage was an indulgence that started my day off right. Throughout the day my skin retained a very light film of oil which gave me a dewy natural sheen that I love, love, loved (think Beyonce dewy). Who doesn't love "dewy." "Dewy" is soft, glowing and moist, in other words, beautiful. Need I say more?